Exhibition runs from Tuesday 1 - Sunday 13 December
Nothing can stop the flow of time — only photography cancrystallize the moment and the surrounding environment into a permanent image. Photography can capture scenesthat are inexpressible in language; thus the old adage, a picture is worth a thousand words.
With close attention paid during both shooting and arrangement, these series of pictures are used to create photographic nar ratives, much as a di rector might compose a film montage. The idea of photography-asstory underpins the exhibition of five series of photographic works by Wang Hsiao-chin, Chien Fu-yu, Chang Hsiuhuang and Chang Yung-chieh, who were selected to represent the artistry of Taiwan's female photographers.
The photos in the exhibition cover the range of portraiture, humanitarian concerns, landscape, aboriginal culture and culture in general; some of the works also tackle gender mainstreaming. Through the transformative process of these photographers' minds, the moment has been captured to produce a rich variety of images bursting with lively local culture.
Since the 1970s, photography has flourished in concert with Taiwan's economic development, democratization and the universalization of education so that female photographers have become common. Although gender equality is now a mainstream issue in the Republic of China, with women well-represented in all fields and professions, there is no denying that the physical demands of lugging around heavy camera equipment has some effect on limiting the number of women photographers at the pinnacle of the profession. This exhibition is thus a great opportunity to introduce the work of these Taiwanese women photographers to a wider, international audience.
The exhibition features the work of the female photographers listed below.
Wang Hsiao-chin — Mother's time chart Wang uses the self-por trait to explore the historical implications of creative work. Not only is she the photographer, but also one of the protagonists in her shots. The portrait series cover the 15 years following her pregnancy, with each shot having as background the previous session's image to create a layered narrative of the relationship with her husband and son. The piling up of images reflects the accumulation of time and the accretion of interpersonal intimacy.
Chien Fu-yu — Women's history Chien's sensitive, careful portraits include women poets, journalists, artists, pathologists and entomologists. The images display the interplay of shadow and light, and, accompanied by the text, present the remarkable lives of Taiwanese women from a variety of fields. The narrative value of this group of pictures is not just artistic, but also concerns the history of Taiwan's development.
Chang Hsiu-huang — Light and shadow Chang Hsiu-huang's work displays the interaction of light and shadow and composition in landscape photography. Her locations cover the entire range of Taiwan's scenery, from the mountains to the sea, from the urban to the rural. There are twisting mountain paths that lead to meditation, and the creative expressions of modern architecture. She uses different approaches to document star trails, sky lanterns and forests. At the same time as appreciating the photos, one can enjoy a scenic tour of Taiwan.
Chang Yung-chieh — The heirs of the clouded leopard Chang Yung-chieh's documentary series is redolent with a powerful cultural and artistic ethos. Taking Pingtung County's Village of Kochapongane — the name means "heirs of the clouded leopard" in the aboriginal Rukai language — as her focus, she explores the wisdom of the Rukai's philosophy of life and the beauty of their cultural traditions, and presents the difficult process of acculturation that the tribe has been obliged to undergo and the problems they face. Chang's images imply that cultural preservation, communal living and economic progress are the solutions.
Chang Yung-chieh — Eternal treasure ship In this series Chang Yung-chieh uses ceremony as creative inspiration for her reportage photography. Returning to her hometown on Taiwan's outlying Penghu Island for a seven-year stint, Chang made a visual document of the folk rites of an "eternal treasure ship" making its ceremonial journey to greet and send off the heavenly kings. There is a rich historical backdrop to the pictures in which superb composition highlights ritual.
We believe that a good photograph is not only a subject for the eyes to encounter, but must be appreciated from deep inside and slowly savored.